Ballpark Review: Dodger Stadium

Franchise: Los Angeles Dodgers

Year Opened: 1962

Capacity: 56,000

Game Attended: June 13, 2014 v Arizona Diamondbacks

Section 158

I had the pleasure of attending a game at Dodger Stadium last year. What made it even more special is that Clayton Kershaw was on the mound and the Kings won the Stanley Cup that night, so 20% of the stadium responded accordingly. The rest of the crowd had no idea who the Kings are. Dodger Stadium sneaks up on you with how old it is. It’s been around since 1962, making it the third oldest stadium in use.

1) Aesthetics- 19/25

Exterior- 3/5

It’s an old stadium and the exterior of almost every old stadium is terrible. However, there are some redeeming qualities. It is not entirely closed (open in the outfield) and palm tries are abundant around the outer concourse by the parking lot.

Interior- 8/10

Dodger Stadium was built in the 60s and it still has that feeling and look, but in a good way. You definitely get an old-timey vibe being at Dodger Stadium. Not an old-timey Fenway or Wrigley feel, but more 50s/60s. From the hills of Chavez Ravine in the backdrop to the faded blue fence and yellow seats, it does look like you hopped in a time machine. Yet it doesn’t come across as outdated or cheesy like similar stadiums built in the same time period. These days a lot of parks have giants video boards and grand stands in the outfield. Most ballparks are built in cities or the heart of a city downtown. Not Dodger Stadium.

Backdrop- 8/10

It’s out by the woods, with trees as a backdrop- and it is completely refreshing. Most parks have buildings in the background, or a closed backdrop. The trees and hills of LA are a perfect fit for this vintage park.

2) Seats & View- 12/20

Sight lines- 6/10

One of the few flaws is the view, but that is to be expected from an old stadium. Sitting on the first level isn’t bad, but when you are sitting far down the foul lines, you really have to crane your body to see the pitcher and you don’t have a good angle for most balls in play. The bleachers do seem like a great hangout spot if you really want to get down and dirty with the local fans. As for the other levels, that’s where the fights and potential violence takes place.

Proximity- 3/5

Moreover, you do feel a lot farther away from the action on the higher levels than most stadiums today. Again, it is tough to blame Dodger Stadium because of its age, but it still is a flaw.

Comfort- 3/5

No complaints here on the seating. Not living like a king but not cramped either.

3) Atmosphere- 12.5/15

Fan Participation- 4/5

LA loves their Lakers, but they also love their Dodgers. The Dodgers are definitely an “it” thing to do, but there are also a lot of dedicated, hardcore supporters.

Attendance- 4.5/5

The team is usually among the league leaders in attendance and it makes for a fun time at the stadium. Any true baseball fan will have a blast here. And those just hoping for a good time won’t be disappointed either.

Fan Knowledge- 4/5

Across the board the Dodger fans get strong marks. Even casual fans seemed to know a lot of the team.

4) Attractions9.5/15

Team Museum & Team History- 6/10

With the rich history of the Dodger franchise, Dodger Stadium is a let down. This stadium is primed for a team museum, but alas, there is none. There is a cool mural in the stadium of past players, but there isn’t much to commemorate their team history and legendary players. At the same time though, it is Dodger Stadium. You go there because it is a classic, not because of its team museum or statues.

Things to See and Do- 3.5/5

The team store is amazing. Not only is it giant, but there is plenty to choose from. I bought myself a Brooklyn hat and it is honestly the most comfortable hat I own.

5) Food & Drink- 7/10

Hot Dog- 3.5/5

Ah, the Dodger Dog, arguably the most famous hot dog in baseball. After having it, all I can say is, it’s good. Not great, not bad. Just good. Worth having when you go there, but you won’t be missing much if you don’t have it. The Dodger Dog still doesn’t top the Philly Frank for me.

Best of the Rest-3.5/5

As for the other concessions, it was pretty much all of the same. It seemed like every stand offered the same things- hot dogs, chicken fingers, fries, and drinks. So there isn’t much diversity here. Moreover, while the food is good, it is nothing special and pretty pricy.

6) Game Entertainment & Presentation- 2/5

Why the low score? Because it’s Dodger Stadium! They don’t need between inning gimmicks or mascot races. Just warm weather, good baseball, and the hills of LA in the backdrop. If anything, I wanted to give them a high score for NOT having too much of an entertainment presence.

7) Cleanliness- 4.5/5

This is one area in which I was blown away. I know Dodger Stadium is old and somewhat of a “vanilla” park, but my one major takeaway was how clean it is. You could tell they did some off season renovations because this park was cleaner and shinier than some parks I’ve been to that were built within the past decade.

8) Local Scene & Location- 3/5

It’s LA so there are a million things to do. But the low score is due to the fact that the stadium is kind of away from it all. In order to get anywhere post game, you have to drive and you have to deal with traffic. No bueno.

9) Access & Cost- 2/5

It’s no Yankee Stadium, but the Dodgers are a premium draw that can charge a lot based on team performance, the market, and the lure of the stadium. For weekend games against a top team, expect to spend a lot. But you can find deals in other parts of the park- upper deck and bleachers. However, these value seats aren’t always good seats. As for food and apparel, expect to pay up.

Your only hope is getting here is driving. The problem is that LA is notorious for terrible traffic. So while there is ample parking, expect to leave early to arrive on time.

10) Misc +4

Stats & Info- 1

This is the one park getting a bonus point for its lack of statistical information. They have a small video board and small scoreboard and aren’t looking to upgrade either any time soon. But that helps with the vintage feel this park exudes.

Concourse- 1

Tradition-1

The history of the park gives it a bonus point. They also play organ music which is always welcome.

11) Personal Opinion- 4.5/5

Dodger Stadium is a special place and I am already thinking of my next trip back. It is baseball paradise for those who want to grab a dog, a beer, and enjoy a ballgame without the thrills and complexity of modern ballparks. There is no giant video board distracting you or anything else you see at parks nowadays. When you go to Dodger Stadium expect warm weather, good baseball, a good crowd, and a fantastic time. This is arguably the best experience I’ve had at a non-Yankee game in my life.

Overall- 80/115

This is a much lower score than expected, but this definitely is in my current top 3. It’s more of the non-stadium aspects that bring it down- local scene, entertainment, etc. But the simplicity and vintage beauty of it make this a classic stadium.

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